Authorities investigating the deaths of three New Jersey family members, including an 8-year-old girl, found that they couldn’t swim and drowned in a pool.
A statement from the East Brunswick Police and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office said that despite initial reports that the three were electrocuted, “it doesn’t appear that the victims knew how to swim.”
“The above-ground pool was mostly shallow at 3½ feet deep, but there was a portion of the pool that was 7 feet deep,” the statement said.
In another statement, the prosecutor’s office wrote that Bharat Patel, 62, his 33-year old daughter-in-law Nisha Patel, and her 8-year-old daughter, of East Brunswick, were identified as the victims.
The county’s regional medical examiner found their causes of death to be drowning and ruled the manner of death as accidental for the three victims, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Neighbors told CBS that the Patel family recently moved to the area. “It’s painful. It’s painful,” Yamini Patel was quoted as saying.
“It’s just horrible. It’s tragic,” said a neighbor who saw the victims being pulled from the pool, reported NJ Advance Media.
When officials arrived on the scene, the three victims were found unresponsive in the pool, and they were pronounced dead shortly after being found, authorities said.
Authorities previously found that electricity did not play a role in the accident.
An investigation into the case is continuing, and anyone with information is asked to call police or prosecutors with the East Brunswick Police Department at (732) 390-6900, or Detective Mark Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-3927.